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The Centre of Osteopathy & Complementary Health

Centre of Osteopathy and Complementary Health in Hythe | Logo

The Centre of Osteopathy & Complementary Health

Osteopathy Clinic
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Equine
Equine osteopathy is a branch of Osteopathy which works on the same principles and theories as human Osteopathy, but with the specific manipulative techniques used by Osteopaths modified to take into account the difference between the human and the equine anatomical structures.
The first consultation and treatment involve a full case history as well as looking at the lifestyle of the horse and the demands placed upon it. The horse will then be observed moving so that the gait and posture can be assessed. When carrying out the procedure, the Osteopath through their palpation skills, can easily detect problem areas such as tight muscles, unusual heat patterns or lack of movement in any joints. It is quite common that the treatments will work with both horse and rider as the posture of the rider has a great impact in that of the horse.

Muscular skeletal healthcare for your horse or pet can typically help:
Lameness • Congenital Hip Dysplasia • Back Problems • Arthritis • Muscle Strains

If you are not sure if Osteopathy can help, book into The Centre to organise your free consultation for an on location visit with you and your horse.

*Please note that no animal will be treated without the prior consent of their veterinary surgeon. You can download the consent form here and be sure to have your vet complete this form prior to your consultation.

Treatments are recognised by most insurance companies.
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Treatment at the stables
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Our horses
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Dressage
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Whatever age you’re at…we can help
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Horse treatments
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Canine
Canine osteopathy is a branch of Osteopathy which works on the same principles and theories as human Osteopathy, but with the specific manipulative techniques used by Osteopaths modified to take into account the difference between the human and the canine anatomical structures.
The first consultation and treatment involve a full case history as well as looking at the lifestyle of the dog and the demands placed upon it. The dog will then be observed moving so that the gait and posture can be assessed. When carrying out the procedure, the Osteopath through their palpation skills, can easily detect problem areas such as tight muscles, unusual heat patterns or lack of movement in any joints.

Muscular skeletal healthcare for your horse or pet can typically help:
Lameness • Congenital Hip Dysplasia • Back Problems • Arthritis • Muscle Strains

If you are not sure if Osteopathy can help, book into The Centre for your free 20-minute consultation with your dog.

*Please note that no animal will be treated without the prior consent of their veterinary surgeon. You can download the consent form here and be sure to have your vet complete this form prior to your consultation.

Treatments are recognised by most insurance companies.
Our Crufts Champion having a well deserved rest...
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We know how important their health is to you...
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Enter the name for this tabbed section: The Osteopath
BSc Ost (Hons) BHSAI Cert. Ed
Centre proprietor and founder of The Osteopathy Centre

Graduated from the European school of Osteopathy.

I have been teaching horse riding for over 25yrs as a BHS registered riding instructor.
As a qualified equine science lecturer taught on a variety of courses including NVQ, BTEC, A-levels and BHS stages including preliminary teaching examination courses.

I became fascinated about how the riders posture affected the horses, and the biomechanics of both horse and rider. I wanted to understand why some horses could appear lame with one rider and sound with another. Clearly the riders posture was having a huge affect on the horse posture.
I had undergone Osteopathic treatment myself and was amazed by how my riding improved. So I became a mature student of Osteopathy and have now been in practice for over 10 years.
I work closely with horse and rider combinations including treatment for both, posture lessons and advise with future schooling. I enjoy a sound relationship with local saddlers and vets assuring you receive the best treatment plan for you and your horse.

Niki Matthews.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Testimonials
"Working with both my horses and riders has meant we can really be sure we are getting the most from the horse and that it's comfortable in training."

"Niki has worked wonders with my dog and kept her out of the operating theatre - it's amazed the vet!"

"Osteopathy has certainly worked for my Westie who is 14 and suffers from arthritis in her back legs - she certainly benefits greatly from the treatment."
"I have a 13-year old ex-racehorse who has obtained several injuries over his racing career. Niki came to see Jinny as upon being ridden he is regularly lame in his hind legs. He isn't always the easiest patient however Niki was very calm with him and took the time, whereupon he fully relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed his treatment. I look forward to his follow up treatments and working with Niki in getting Jinny physically fit and well."
FAQ
  • What is Equine Osteopathy?Open or Close
    Osteopathy is both a science and system of healing where the initial diagnosis identifies problems in the musculo-skeletal system of the horse and the tensions and restrictions requiring treatment. The healing treatment uses physical techniques to eliminate tension and body restrictions which then encourage both structural and physiological harmony.
  • How is your horse diagnosed?Open or Close
    A full case history of your horse will be taken before examination. This is important to discover if the symptoms are of a muscular skeletal nature and not being caused by a pathological process, in which case a vet must be consulted straight away.

    Your Horse will be observed in the way that the horse moves in walk and trot in hand, so general confirmation and postural patterns of your horse will be assessed. First observations will then lead to the horse to perform various turns and/or be lunged or ridden and either or both will depend on the problem that was first observed. The riders input is important as they know how the horse feels under saddle.

    When this is completed there will a full musculo-skeletal examination, and the diagnosis can be explained and a treatment plan discussed.
  • How will my horse be treated?Open or Close
    Osteopaths use soft tissue techniques and articulation to relieve body tensions by encouraging the spine and pelvis into its correct posture. Generally the whole of the horse will be treated and this will be fully explained to you and will conform to the Osteopathic principle that ‘Structure Governs Function’.
  • How many treatments will my horse need?Open or Close
    The number of treatments required will depend on your horses history as well as what is being treated. Normally back problems require 3 to 4 treatments and ongoing check ups are always advised.
  • Should I consult my vet?Open or Close
    Always consult your veterinary surgeon before having your horse treated by any other practitioner. It is an offence for anyone to treat an animal without referral from a veterinary surgeon. The practitioners insurance would not cover them if the horse has not been referred. Even if you have already consulted your vet, the osteopath will also notify your vet as a matter of professional courtesy.
  • What does Osteopathy help treat?Open or Close
    Reduced performance
    Gait problems: tracking-up/short stride
    Stiffness in different areas of the body
    Reluctance to trot/canter on certain reins
    Problems with head carriage
    Changes in behaviour: bucking, rearing, kicking and bolting
    Stiffness in the older horse
    Maintaining mobility in competition horses
    Aiding rehabilitation after injury and in diagnosed conditions such as arthritis
  • Should my horses back be checked regularly?Open or Close
    Treatment can be used as a means of preventative care, improving mobility and movement which will then minimise the occurence of injury. Osteopaths are trained to detect early changes in the musculo-skeletal system, and these will cause discomfort if not treated.

    A horse needs to be in the best possible condition if it is to perform to its full potential. An individual programme of gradually increasing exercises and appropriate schooling, the use of correctly fitting tack and a correct rider position will all help to prevent many of the problems that an osteopath treats. This will also help the re-occurrence of existing ones that have already been treated.
  • Is your posture affecting your horse?Open or Close
    A good posture when riding is essential to your horses way of going. Your horses posture is often mirrored in yours and visa versa.
    I provide a horse and riders assessment service to help improve your partnership, through shared improved posture balance and strength and stamina, in all levels and disciplines.
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